NOT going to school and having ADHD has never held back 14-year-old Joel Drapper from Ryall and now he has started his own business.

Last year he was busy getting to sail on the tall ship the Prince William and winning money in the Make Your Mark Challenge.

Make Your Mark is an organisation that encourages young enterprising people to make their ideas happen while at school and even though he is home schooled Joel has done just that and used his prize money to start up his own website design business at Joel, will be 15 on Monday and plans to launch his business on his birthday.

Like his 10 siblings Joel is home educated, and is now a self-taught computer expert.

He said: "There aren't very many jobs for teenagers around except washing-up at hotels or chopping chips for a chippy.

"I wanted to start up my own business doing something that I really enjoyed, was good at, and that I could fit into my free time, at home - and hopefully I will be able to earn some money at the same time."

Joel says his goal is to provide first class, high performance websites at competitive prices so that small businesses, charities, churches, or even families, can have a professional presence on the internet where they can advertise their products or services.

He charges £250 for his custom designed websites, plus £95 per year to cover hosting and domain name registration if required. He is also happy to modernise or update people's existing websites.

He added: "Many local small businesses just cannot afford to have a website built by these big design firms. Small B&Bs or hotels need to advertise where the people are looking, and now-a-days that's on the internet."

"It's really exciting running a real business! I am learning so much about being self-employed, time management, and business skills. When I'm old enough to work full-time I should be well equipped. Until then I still have to continue with my studies and so my business fits into my spare time."

So far Joel has been commissioned to provide a new website for LymeNet, Lyme Regis' local community college; for Stuckton Church near Christchurch; and for a Life Coaching business, Total Liberty International.

Irene Benson from LymeNet was full of praise for the teenager.

She said: "Joel Drapper has designed our new website for us and I am delighted with the result. It will help to give LymeNet a fresh new look. It has been good to work with him; he is a very helpful and conscientious young man. He deserves to succeed and I'm sure his new venture will go far."

Joel got the idea after realising he already knew more than some universities could teach.

He said: "I was looking for some kind of qualifications or certificate that I could gain for my web design skills.

"I looked at doing a university distance learning computer certificate with Exeter University, but they were very unhelpful. First I was too young, but then I realised that I already knew all the things they were teaching and I didn't want to waste my time or money repeating lessons I already knew. I asked if I could just complete the work required to validate the certificate but they said that I would have to do all the lessons.

"Irene Benson at LymeNet said that if I ran my own business and built up a portfolio then that would be even better on my CV than a university certificate. So that is what I decided to do."

Joel is prepared to give a 10 per cent discount to Bridport News readers if they quote bridport10' on the quote form in the voucher code box of his website.

Further enquires via his email: joel